Issue 28 October 2021

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Charles Lancaster Re-booted

Two well-known faces appear in new roles

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Issues & Events|July 2021

Charles Lancaster has re-surfaced in amajor way, after several years operating in a relatively low-key manner under ex-Rigby gunmaker, Ron Wharton, who sadly died in 2015.

The company is now in the hands of four directors, fronted by Tom Cosby and George Juer, who both previously worked in sales for Purdey. George also worked for William Evans and Tom was at Atkin, Grant & Lang for a number of years. Both are well-known personalities in the gun trade.

The announcement was made via a press release on July 7th:

Charles Lancaster Gunmakers Ltd is delighted to announce that its historic brand will be relaunching under new ownership.

The new co-owners of the Charles Lancaster Group, George Juer (formerly of Purdey) and Tom Cosby (formerly of Atkin Grant & Lang and also of Purdey), have rolled their existing gun trade businesses into the new company. They will be joined on the Board by Francis Beardsworth and Margarita Booker, who have owned the Lancaster brand since the untimely passing of Margarita’s late husband, the great riflemaker, Ronald Wharton.

The company is already manufacturing new ‘best’ grade guns and rifles under the Charles Lancaster name and plans are in place for the relaunch of some of the more historic models synonymous with the company over the last 200 years, such as their world-famous bolt action rifle, the back action ‘Wrist-Breaker’, the ‘Twelve-Twenty’ and the ‘Vertical Barrel Gun’ (a sporting over and under). In addition to new guns and rifles, the company also offers a vast selection of new and pre-owned guns by other British and international makers, all from their new premises in Buckinghamshire.

The retail and gunmaking side of the business is joined by the newly rebranded Lancaster Outfitters, a British, European and international hunting agency, additionally offering high-quality simulated game days in the UK.

Also launching is Lancaster Wholesale, offering wholesale products to the British Gun Trade including a range of guns, ammunition, clothing, accessories and leather goods, the majority of which is imported from Europe and South Africa.

George and Tom have issued a joint statement: “We are excited and privileged to be in a position to reinvigorate this historic brand. Charles Lancaster Gunmakers has an exceptional pedigree and a rich heritage, with clients from Annie Oakley to King Edward VII, from Denys Finch Hatton to Prince Albert. It will be our absolute pleasure to dedicate our careers to returning this phenomenal brand to its heyday heights and its rightful place amongst the best of British Gunmakers.”

The relaunch of Charles Lancaster Gunmakers will take place at the upcoming coming Game Fair (Ragley Hall, 23-25 July), where they may be found on Gunmakers Row, stand J632.

Charles Lancaster Gunmakers

Charles Lancaster was a barrel maker for the famous Joseph Manton in the early 1800s. In 1811 he set up his own shop in Drury Lane, supplying barrels to Manton and the rest of the London Gun Trade. Lancaster moved to New Bond Street and in 1826 began making complete guns under his own name. Over the decades that followed, Charles Lancaster Gunmakers produced a number of well-known models of guns that are still in circulation today, as well as patenting numerous designs that remain integral to today’s modern sporting shotguns and rifles.

The company had a series of owners throughout the 1900s and early 2000s until it was purchased by former Rigby riflemaker, Ronald Wharton. After Ron’s untimely death in 2015, the business remained with his wife, Margarita Booker, and her business partner Francis Beardsworth, who both remain part of the Charles Lancaster Group that was set up in 2021 to relaunch the brand.

 

Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on

Issues & Events|July 2021

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